I Prefer the Term “Vintage,” Thank You

Chickadees, 2014 is officially over, and while there is absolutely nothing lazier than a “Year in Review” post, well, here we are! While I’m seeing loads of less-than-lovely sentiments about 2014 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I have to say that it was a year that challenged me not only to be a better person, but to be a better adult. 

(Which, let’s face it, I’m still only moderately proficient at.)

(Despite seven years of practice.)

(Shut up, I’m trying.)

As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.” – David Sedaris
I was nearly a Christmas baby; or, at the very least, a pre-Christmas baby, but thanks to some bad math, I arrived in the early days of 1989; therefore, 2014 was my 25th year, and if I were a car, I would officially be an antique. As it stood, 2014 was the year I began to set myself on the path to happy, healthy adulthood. And part of that was setting myself a bedtime. In college, I was famous for the two-hour cat nap – your Gal could stay up until 4AM, sleep (literally anywhere) until 6AM and then roll out of bed/chair/tuba cubby fresh and ready for class. This miraculous ability to function left me somewhere around the age of 23, but the 1AM-4AM bedtimes didn’t, and so over the years I steadily developed the morning personality of a crotchety old woman. It wasn’t until late in the year that I discovered the combination of six hours of sleep and a sensible breakfast/lunch make me a FAR more pleasant person throughout the day. In 2015? I hope to figure out how to make kale taste as good as huevos rancheros.

Your Gal, any time before 12pm in 2014.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
You know what doesn’t feel great in the short run? Parting with your money and not receiving some sort of sparkly bauble within 3-5 business days (I’m looking at you, katespade.com). You know what feels great? Receiving adorable photos and pictures from a child you sponsor, or knowing that you have the ability to help give people in need access to much-needed livestock. While I’m trying to find places to volunteer in 2015, this past year was the one in which I started giving back as much as I can afford monetarily, and knowing that money is helping to improve someone’s life is worth far more than a bracelet or a bag.

Sharing is caring, y’all.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo DaVinci
You know what’s great? Looking at your college diploma, being able to make decisions about your future and your career, carrying on an intelligent conversation and being proud of your accomplishments. You know what’s not? Feeling like you’ve become a complete and utter moron since graduating. This year I embarked upon a quest to re-smarten myself through the classic, which I’ve slightly modified to allow myself 50% “fun reading” (including the classics) and 50% “mind expansion reading,” which dictates that for every novel I buy, I’m also required to purchase and peruse something in the realm of science, history, politics or biography. Is it the same thing as grad school? No, but at least I’ll be able to talk about something aside from how my hair won’t hold a decent curl.

Of course, everything is a process. Sometimes I have a milkshake and french fries for dinner. Sometimes I read a trashy romance novel and spill nail polish on the coffee table. I’m still stuck on making pro/con lists rather than listening to my own intuition when it comes to major decisions (2014’s big career move, I’m looking at you). Oh, and rather than sticking to my “only buy what Stitch Fix” sends you rule, I’ve made a few (too many) trips to J. Crew.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-improvement, and if you really want to see how it’s done, you’ll refer to Jen Lancaster; in the meantime, I’m prepared to face 2015 a little older, a little wiser, and a little bit of a better me.

(And with my own insurance. Sigh.)

Love,
Your Gal

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A Tale of Two Cities (and by Cities, I Mean Customer Service Interactions)

Let’s talk about customer service. At some point in what I imagine to be most adult lives, we all touch this field in one way or another, be it via providing services to a client or actually working in a call center.

Because my job is so client-facing, it irks me when I receive a bad customer service experience. After all, if I strive to do the best for my clients and always keep a polite, calm demeanor, why can’t, say, Giant Telecom Conglomerate do the same for me? I understand everyone has their bad days – I’ve had my fair share – but were I to take out said bad day on a client, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have a desk for very long.

In the past few weeks I’ve had two absolutely, diametrically oppositional customer service experiences: one with a delivery service, and one with Stitch Fix. In the interest of not being a complete jerk, I’ll decline to name the delivery service, but suffice it to say that when I received the wrong order, the response I was expecting was not “what do you expect us to do about it?” And after that lovely response, I certainly wasn’t expecting the restaurant in question to show up at my door at 11:30pm demanding the wrong order back. It’s been a few weeks since I called and wrote an email to request that never happen again, and I haven’t heard back.

Luckily, Stitch Fix (referral link alert) is a little bit more customer-focused. After receiving a few great fixes, I’d been disappointed with the new stylist I was assigned, and when I received a box that had nothing that was either to my taste or that flattered, I contacted Stitch Fix asking for either a replacement box or a refund of my styling fee. 

Their response? 

An apology, a make-good and a promise to try to fulfill my request for my original stylist, all within a few hours.

Guys? That’s how you do good customer service.

(Heck, as long you’re not showing up demanding a sandwich at 11:30pm, you’re probably on the right track.)

Love,

Your Gal